It would be many years after I first watched Grease that I would finally own a pair of shiny black satin pants like Sandy’s. Maybe I’m so old that my desire for them predates the invention of Spandex. More likely, they just weren’t available in my hometown – despite my hometown being a capital city. And so I bided my time in pants that, while much less exciting, were probably more age-appropriate.
The pair Olivia Newton-John wore were 50s vintage, and to avoid breaking the zipper, they were sewn into them every morning on the set of Grease. How much did my friends and I love them? Count the paths.
They were the opposite of our municipal school uniform, a shapeless thing in unflattering shades of brown and gray. They were far more attractive than the prosaic blue Oddball Stretch jeans we wore at the weekend. It was excitement in pants form, full of promise and adventure.
Wearing these pants, we agreed, meant you couldn’t miss a good time. A friend was so in love with them and so frustrated by their absence from the Clockhouse tracks that she once tried to color her legs black with a marker.
I, on the other hand, tried to replicate their tightness by cutting off the feet of a pair of black school tights, an action that did not bring me closer to being Sandy, nor to being a financially independent woman, my mother quickly docking 75p of my pocket money in her anger.